Mushfiq’s master-class propels Tigers

Bangladesh batsman Mushfiqur Rahim plays a shot during their Asia Cup opening match in Dubai on Saturday. AFP photo

Mushfiqur Rahim defied his rib injury to hit career best 144 off 150 balls  while Tamim Iqbal showed great commitment  as Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by 137 runs in the opening match of Asia Cup in Dubai on Saturday.

The Tigers started the game on a wrong foot, losing two wickets in the first over of the innings, but fought their way back into to contest to script another extraordinary chapter in their cricket history.

Mushfiq provided another classic example of batting but was somewhat overshadowed by Tamim, who came from hospital to share a 32-run for the final wicket, guiding Bangladesh to 261 all out in the final over.

The innings of Bangladesh was thought to be over when ninth wicket fell for 229 runs with 19 balls still to play, but Tamim stunned all to join Mushfiq.

Tamim faced a ball in one hand to give the strike back to Mushfiq, who did not let the heroics go in vain.

He kept the strike in the remaining overs and hit three fours and three sixes before he was finally dismissed in the last over.

Bowlers shared the same spirit to reduced Sri Lanka 38-4 from where they could not recover.

Mashrafee bin Murtaza, Mustafizur Rahman, and Mehedi Hasan each grabbed two wickets as Bangladesh dismissed Sri Lanka for 124 runs in 35.2 over to make a giant stride towards the super-four phase of the tournament.

It is Sri Lanka’s lowest score against Bangladesh, lowering 147 in Dhaka in 2009.

Despite Mushfiq’s master-class batting, Bangladesh owed a lot of this win to Tamim, who had to leave the field earlier after he received a blow in his wrist in the second over of the game.

Bangladesh were struggling then with 3-2 after two first over strikes by Lasith Malinga, who dismissed both opener Liton Das and one-down Sakib al Hasan for a duck.

Mushfiq repaired the damage with 131-run third wicket stand with Mohammad Mithun, who hit 63 off 68 balls, his maiden half century in four ODIs.

Mushfiq, who has now six ODI centuries, took the role of anchor initially to let Mithun play his shots and the 27-year old batsman took the opportunity to the fullest.

The pair set a new record for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka for the third wicket before Malinga came back in his second spell to break their partnership.

Mithun, who looked to be in complete control and had been dominating the bowlers, got a top-edge to be caught by wicketkeeper Kusal Perera before Mahmudullah (one) and Mosaddek Hossain (one) followed him quickly.

It threatened to derail Bangladesh’s innings but Mushfiq, who struck 11 fours and four sixes overall, was committed to stay till the end almost single-handedly guided Bangladesh with the help of tail-enders and Tamim.

Malinga finished with 4-23 for Sri Lanka who was playing his first one-day international in more than a year.

Bangladesh will face Afghanistan in their next match on September 20 in Abu Dhabi.

Source: New Age.


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